Last Saturday marked my fourth time attending the Toronto Underground Market (TUM). Four times I have ventured to Evegreen Brick Works in search of unique and tasty finds. Each time, I’ve returned amazed by the wide variety of foods and the festive atmosphere of this culinary rendezvous.
Even though many of the vendors cook up a storm at TUM on a regular basis, each instalment of this event is unique. Vendors vary their menu, showcasing different dishes, ingredients and flavours. It’s thrill of discovery that makes TUM enthusiasts return for more month after month.
It’s also about sharing these discoveries… Last November, my friend Marie-Lynne introduced me to TUM. Ever since, we’ve both taken great pleasure in spreading the joy, encouraging more of our friends to attend this event. It’s always great to see them react with glee at the sight of a flavourful sandwich or indulge in the perfect earl grey cannelé. Satisfying curiosity by tasting someone’s culinary creations is quite possibly one of the best ways to discover what Toronto has to offer, one bite at a time.
In the spirit of discovery, I took TUM by storm, armed with my site map, fork and water bottle in order to share a couple of finds.
Lobster ceviche from Rock Lobster Food
This refreshing concoction of lobster with slices of orange, cilantro leaves and tomato served with blue corn tortilla chips was the perfect way to kick off our visit under the July heat.
Pork and Beans Grub style
If you were thinking about navy beans stewed with chunks of pork, think again! Grub served up Ontario grown edamame with home made bacon and bacon salt in hand crafted food containers. The result was tasty, but the large portions left many fingers quite greasy. A honourable mention goes out to their edamame with chillies that was quite hot (easy pun intended).
Baked beans and brisket with waffles from Royal Tree Beaver
I had tried Royal Tree Beaver’s butter chicken and waffles in March, so I was quite intrigued by the baked beans and brisket served on waffles. The verdict: wonderful. The baked beans and brisket smothered over the waffle was a satisfying snack.
Bajan beef brisket and oxtail and chicken mole dumpling from My Little Dumplings
I must admit it; I have a soft spot for dumplings. TUM has fortunately helped indulge in them on a regular basis. Chef Bashir Munye impressed with his steamed dumplings. I sampled both the beef brisket and chicken mole. They were great, but with its tomato, parsley and pumpkin seed topping, the chicken mole dumplings had a slight edge.
Dumpling trio from Feast TO
More dumpling love, this time pan-fried! I couldn’t help but indulge in Feast TO’s dumpling trio. Tasty pork and bok choi, shiitake mushroom and duck and foie gras with cherry jus.
Peameal sandwich from Little Tomato Catering
Sheer sandwich perfection. There are no better words to describe how good this combination of maple glazed mustard peameal, Dijon mayo, red onion marmalade sunny side up quail egg on a biscuit really is.
Mascarpone Whoopies from Tatum Pie
Where one finds mascarpone, one is sure to find a rich, make that very rich dessert. Every striped yellow and white paper bag served four whoppie pies: fresh lemon, original classic, coconut and banana each with a creamy frosting and moist cakes.
Revisiting some faves…
I must admit that I reverted to some of my favourite dessert kiosks for my sweet tooth and packed up most of the dessert to go and share at home… I thoroughly enjoyed Dough Toronto’s Balsamic hazelnut and Bee’s Knees doughnuts. I also took advantage of TUM to stock up on a couple of cannelés from SnackeryTO.
A shot of espresso from Manual Labour Coffee
Matthew Taylor and his crew of Manual Labourers served up great coffee from Mad Cap Coffee aboard Frankie, the 1969 Bailey Travel Trailer. If you missed them at TUM, make sure you look them up at the Oakville Farmer’s Market every Saturday or at the next edition of Junction Flea on August 12th!
Got any other culinary discoveries to share? Feel free to do so!